Vuelta a Espana 2017: break succeeds again as Matej Mohoric wins stage seven and Chris Froome stays in red

Simon Yates out of top ten after Jetse Bol in breakaway again

Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates) won stage seven of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana as the breakaway succeeded once again, before Chris Froome (Team Sky) finished in the peloton to defend his red jersey.

In a race of two parts, Mohoric led the way over the final climb and held off his nearest chasers just as they had threatened to pull him back on the descent to claim a solo victory.

The peloton was reduced in size, meanwhile, but with Froome’s Team Sky team-mates having set a good pace on the front for their team leader, the red jersey stayed safely on his back going into the weekend.

Matej Mohoric soloed to victory on stage seven of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana (Pic: Sirotti)

Any hopes of a stress-free stage looked slim when crashes during the neutralised start caused a slight delay to racing, but when the flag did drop the pace was frenetic.

No fewer than 14 riders got into the breakaway, which included Mohoric, Bol, Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Jetse Bol (Manzana-Postobon), who have been no strangers to the breakaway in this race.

Bol, once again, was the biggest threat overall but Team Sky were happy to let them go, though it was not a stress-free day for the peloton – echelons appeared and closed on several occasions as the pace fluctuated.

A crash in the bunch, which ended American champion Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) and Eritrea’s Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data) races, also caused further tension.

Sky were not the only team setting the pace, with Cannondale-Drapac accelerating at one point too, but it was Chris Froome’s team-mates who had to take charge when Bol’s advantage put him into the virtual red jersey.

The front group did not stick together, however, as Mohoric accelerated and led the way onto the Castillo de Cuenca.

Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar), De Gendt, and Pawel Poljanski (Bora-hansgrohe) bridged across on the descent, but Mohoric, in a super-aero position, got a gap again and his advantage crept into double figures with 3km to race.

It was sufficient to solo to victory, with Poljanski leading the chasers across just a few seconds later.

Jetse Bol’s frequent exploits in the breakaway saw him climb to seventh, with Simon Yates dropping out of the top ten as a result (Pic: Sirotti)

The Team Sky-led peloton which rolled in eight-and-a-half minutes later was reduced in size after the final climb, but all the GC favourites were together.

Nevertheless, there was one big change in the overall standings – Bol’s reward for another day in the breakaway being a place in the top ten overall, with Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) dropping to 11th as a result.

The day, however, belonged to Mohoric – Bahrain-Merida-bound next season – as the Slovenian 22-year-old celebrated his first Grand Tour stage win (and only the second pro win of his career, after a stage of last year’s Tour of Hainan).

Vuelta a Espana 2017: stage seven – result

1) Matej Mohoric (SVN) – UAE Team Emirates – 4.43.35hrs
2) Pawel Poljanski (POL) – Bora-hansgrohe +16”
3) Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP) – LottoNL-Jumbo – ST
4) Thomas de Gendt (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
5) Alessandro de Marchi (ITA) – BMC Racing +27”
6) Floris de Tier (BEL) – LottoNL-Jumbo – ST
7) Jetse Bol (NED) – Manzana-Postobon +29”
8) Luis Angel Mate (ESP) – Cofidis +1.21
9) Anthony Perez (FRA) – Cofidis +1.32
10) Arnaud Courteille (FRA) – FDJ – ST

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 27.46.51hrs
2) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-Scott +11”
3) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – BMC Racing +13”
4) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing +30”
5) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida +36”
6) David de la Cruz (ESP) – QuickStep Floors +40”
7) Jetse Bol (NED) – Manzana-Postobon +46”
8) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +49”
9) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-Scott +50”
10) Michael Woods (CAN) – Cannondale-Drapac +1.13

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